A small but powerful group of conservative physicians in Congress, called the GOP Doctors Caucus, has become more powerful and is expected to play a role in the replacement of the Affordable Care Act.
The group—which includes Tom Price, the Georgia congressman and orthopedic surgeon, who was confirmed last week as President Trump’s choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services—has gained importance with Republicans’ rise to power, according to an NPR report.
The caucus has favored overturning the ACA and is expected to play a role in determining how the Trump administration will replace the healthcare reform law, NPR said.
"As political circumstances have changed, they have grown more essential. They will have considerable influence over the discussion on repeal and replace legislation," Robert Doherty, a lobbyist for the American College of Physicians, told the publication.
The caucus includes 16 members, eight of them doctors and the rest from other health professions, including a registered nurse, a pharmacist and a dentist.
However, the group, which has a conservative agenda, doesn’t represent the views of all doctors, said Mona Mangat, chair of Doctors for America, a group that supports the ACA.
Just as Price’s nomination divided doctors over his conservative views and his opposition to the ACA, the GOP Doctors Caucus stirs a similar divide, with many physicians concerned about a repeal increasing the number of Americans without insurance.